A historic pub where Hugh Grant famously ‘bugged a bugger’ has gone on the market for a bargain-basement £100,000.
And the current owner, journalist-turned-publican Paul McMullan, has called on him to make a bid for it.
“It would be the perfect seaside hideaway for him,” he said.
The 18th Century Castle Inn on the seafront of Dover, Kent, was the scene of actor-turned-media-campaigner Hugh’s great journalism coup.
He made a surprise visit to the boozer to see his bete noir McMullan, a former News of the World executive, while wearing a concealed microphone.
Catching the former tabloid hack off guard, Grant secretly taped their conversation during which McMullan admitted to carrying out phone hacking and numerous other tricks during his Fleet Street career.
Grant then wrote an article based on revealing talk for the Spectator magazine in 2011, at the height of the storm about media ethics.
He wrote: “I wanted to hear more about phone hacking and the whole business of tabloid journalism.
“It occurred to me just to interview him straight, as he has, after all, been a whistleblower.
“But then I thought I might possibly get more, and it might be more fun, if I secretly taped him. The bugger bugged, as it were.”
Father-of-four McMullan, 55, has now put the pub on the market after struggling to turn it into a pub/backpackers hostel – and he’s hoping Grant may put in a bid.
He said: “The place must hold some pleasant memories for him. It’s the only place he ever got one over a journalist.
“I will even throw in all the fixtures and fittings, including the backpackers bunk beds, for free.”
Grant developed a grudge against McMullan after falling victim to his tactics when his Ferrari car broke down in Kent.
He was spotted by chance by McMullan who came to his ‘rescue’ and then asked to take some ‘souvenir’ pictures of the star.
Grateful Grant agreed after being reassured the snaps were for McMullan’s pub wall – only for them to appear with a dubious story in various magazines and newspapers.
Former patrons of the pub include The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, seen there during filming.
Sir Cliff Richard, who recently successfully sued the BBC for breaking data protection rules, also used it as his local boozer while recording with The Shadows at a local studio in the sixties.